27 January 2019

[Bess Tuggle] - Memoirs of Surviving Children: Thing 3 & the Friendly Skies

My mind tends to jump between children, decades and memories.  I start each day looking at the list on my desk.  As I think of something to write I put it in the notebook.  That doesn’t mean I have to write the column right then, it’s just food for thought in future columns.  If I don’t write it down I –will- forget it, at least until 2 a.m. when I can’t sleep because I forgot to jot something down in my notebook and it will drive me crazy until I remember what I wanted to write about.   

Today my thoughts gravitate toward my third son, Thing 3.  

His father was a corporate pilot.  That should have been my first warning that this child would have issues.  When I say issues, I mean he was born with an airplane obsession.  He had his first flight at 22 hours old.  His dad came home from a trip, we lived on a private airport, and the baby went up for the first time.  His head has been in the clouds ever since.

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By the time Thing 3 was about 2 years old I’d have to call the hangar at nap time.  “PLEASE don’t fly right now!”  The child would not go to sleep if he heard a plane.  He’d just bang on his bedroom window and holler “Da pane!  Da pane, Mama!” reminiscent of “Tattoo” from “Fantasy Island.”  Yes, I just dated myself, but I loved that show in the 80’s.   

It all went downhill from there and by 3 his obsession ran to all new levels.  

One day his grandfather, a retired commercial pilot, dropped by to visit.  He was much more old-fashioned than I (and I’m really conservative).  I knew where my children were, just not necessarily what exactly they were up to at any given moment, and I heard his grandfather’s ranting before I knew he was actually on my front porch.

Thing 3 was on the front porch.  I –knew- he was there.  I could hear him playing.  All the windows were open.  I –didn’t- know he found my box of sanitary pads under the bathroom sink though.  His grandfather was HORRIFIED!  

When I came out his grandfather had a face as red as a beet, and Thing 3 was SO proud of himself!  He’d stuck “wings” up and down his legs and arms.  It was time to FLY!

- Bess Tuggle